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Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Parkway board considers levy

By Betty Lawrence
ROCKFORD - Parkway school board members on Tuesday bandied about the possibility of placing a new permanent improvement levy on the March primary ballot to pay for new athletic facilities and a land purchase.
The school's outdoor sports facilities committee has proposed a $1.5 million project that includes purchasing 20 acres that abuts the current school ground for future expansions; moving the football field to the new track area; constructing a game field for softball; and improving the baseball field with new lights, dugouts with press box and additional bleachers.
"Right now, it would be impossible to fit everything we want onto the land we have now," said high school Principal Greg Puthoff, who is heading the committee.
The outdoors sports facilities committee has been meeting during the past few months to hammer out the details of what they think the school needs.
"The question now is, how do we finance this? Do we want to consider a permanent improvement levy," Parkway Superintendent Doug Karst asked at the school board meeting Tuesday night. "And do we want to try to get in on the March ballot or wait until the general election next November?"
According to Karst, a 1-mill property tax would generate nearly $100,000 annually. That would work out to nearly $35 a year for the taxpayer for a $100,000 home, he said.
"But right now, we don't have any idea or know how many mills we're looking at or how many years the levy would need to be on," Karst said.
To get on the March ballot, a decision needs to be made at the school board meeting next month, he said.
Board member Bob Ransbottom suggested having a work session to go over the pros and cons of placing the tax levy on the ballot.
Karst indicated he plans to meet with Puthoff and Brian Miller of Garman/Miller Architects, Minster, to go over the shopping list supplied by the sports facilities committee.
"Then we'll have some suggestions at the December board meeting on the number of mills and years," he said.
Additional online story on this date
ST. ANTHONY - There is a gathering of angels in this western Mercer County hamlet where a special happening is about to begin. The small town's annual Christmas show starts this week, and once again, for the ninth year in a row, it is sold out before the curtain even goes up. [More]
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